And off we went on the boat tour. The first thing that we saw were the floating fish farms bobbing off the coastal waters of Kukup. On an interesting note, these structures have been used for centuries by the Orang Laut or the Sea Gypsies from Riau, Indonesia.
Read on to see how fish is kept there..
After walking around Kukup Luat, I was itching for a little adventure when I spotted a giant signboard advertising for a Kelong/Mangrove Boat Tour at High King Restaurant. What luck! We gladly bought our tickets for the tour after we were assured we could dump our car there.
High King Restaurant
RM5 per person, an additional Rm2 for the Mangrove Tour
Boat Departs every 15 min
Read on to see details of the boat tour.
Other than terrorizing the nurse shark and the sea horse for our entertainment, the fisherman also got his little archer fish to perform a neat trick for us. This little fish stunt blew my belief that all fish are blind and stupid*. Far from it. Those little buggers could aim and spit at their bait well above the water . Not all the aims were accurate though, some unfortunate sods got spat on by these little submarine water pistols after standing stupidly right in front of the bait. Ok, ok, I was one of those stupid sods...
*You can't blame me. I honestly thought that way after a certain diving incident - a curtain of fish schooled with me and proceeded to nibble me. I was quite sure I didn't look like bait.
Practically all the architecture in Kukup are on stilts. If you click open the picture, you'll notice a red temple admidst the residential houses. Kukup really reminds me of life in the Mekong Delta. The coastal scape is almost similar..
Read on to see my little side trip to the world's largest mangrove swamp island and kelongs.
We went to tour the largest mangrove swamp island in the world after the kelong trip. Officially speaking of course, this place is called the " Pulau Kukup Johor National Park " . Yup, a long name, deservedly so, after serious government dollars were spent here. Anyway, you'll get to see a little red jetty once you embark on this place..
Well, other than fish, this chap had a stash of other sea creatures as well. You can't really see it from this crummy shot of mine, but he actually has a seahorse curled around his finger. Apparently, that's what those little creatures do underwater with seaweed..
It turned out to be a wooden six-storey structure some 30m high. Ok, that's some observatory all right, guess that meant I had to haul my fat self all 6 storeys up..
And that I did, but I was rewarded with an excellent bird’s eye view of tree tops . I didn't stay for long though, since only 5 sods were allowed at the top, I didn't want to hog the observatory..
After we got a load of the scenary around us, we'd peer over the teak boards every now and then to look at whatever strange swamp creatures lurked beneath. This boardwalk stretched for about 800 metres and it took us around the eastern part of the island.
It came to some surprise of course, when the boardwalk led to a tower and a 30m suspension bridge which straddled across a river ( Sungai Ular ) .
And it came as a bigger surprise when the forest ranger told us that we were not permitted not to run, jump, play or shake the bridge. Well, you don't say...how did they guess that we were all Indiana Jones and dying to do all that? Well other than the stern warning, we were also told that only three persons were allowed on the bridge at any one time, at a 10-metre gap. Now, that freaked out some poor sods to some extent and some turned back after making a quick conclusion that the bridge wasn't strong enough to bear their weight..
Well, I had to go on the bridge after I played a game of chicken with hubby...
The next time you're at Kukup Luat, go on a walkabout and explore the village on stilts. You'll walk from one creaky walkway to another and see people going about their daily activities on and under the stilty walkways. Fishermen hauling their daily catch, mothers hanging out the laundry, kids swimming in the brackish water, etc
After cruising for a few minutes, the boatman took pity on us sods and let us off a floating fish farm. Once we were there, a fisherman started to entertain us by showing us how fresh fish were kept within the fishing nets in the farm...
Read on to see a shark
Kukup is a small, quaint but interesting Malaysian fishing village where most of the residents have their houses built on stilts over the sea. It is a very popular weekend destination with many Singaporeans who go there to experience kampung life as it may have been in Singapore long before the urban sprawl after indepence pushed their own fishing villages into the distant past of a quieter lifestyle.
Enroute to Kukup fishing village most bus tour operators will visit Orchid Valley with it's 1.5 million tropical orchid plants of more than 80 different varieties. Orchid Valley is located a pleasant 28km roadtrip from Johor Bahru that will take you through the serene Malaysian countryside.
Pulau Kukup - Johor National Park is one of the largest uninhabited mangrove islands in the world.
Take a boat ride of RM5.00 to get to this place. Do take note that the last entry is at 4.30pm.
There is a further RM5 admission charge to the Mangrove Park.
Opens daily from 9am to 5pm.
We took the last ferry there and the park rangers locked up the park immediately when we left at 5.30pm.
At the end of the broadwalk is the six-storey high tower which is 30m tall.
At level 6, you will have an excellent bird’s eye view of the island. The treetops and the neighboring islands seems so quiet and peaceful.
This is a good place for bird watching. Bring your binoculars along.
There are warnings signs posted around the aery. Do note that only 5 persons are allowed on each floor at any one time.